The latest Chicago Med episode, given how the previous one ended, opens with a scene showing Dr Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) working at an off-book unsanctioned illegal safe injection site he helped set up. With how the medical board at the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center declined to support his proposed safe injection site, it shouldn’t surprise anyone Halstead would take measures to establish such a site himself.
Later, we see a patient at the unsanctioned safe injection site come down with a fever. He’s pals and is short of breath. Halstead should be heading to his regular job at the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. The patient, Mike Monroe (Kyle Adams), has a significant heart murmur. Halstead states that he could have something called endocarditis. This isn’t the first time Monroe has had the condition. Monroe should be taken to Chicago Med for treatment.
At Chicago Med, we see Halstead lost in thought. Dr Isidore Latham (Ato Essandoh), having assessed the endocarditis patient, has decided to not perform the valve replacement operation. Halstead correctly notes, with the patient having plus-four aortic regurgitation, Monroe will not survive without an operation. Latham notes Monroe has already infected and destroyed two healthy heart values. There is nothing to suggest that this will not happen again.
With more than a modicum of frustration in his voice, noting Dr Daniel Charles’ (Oliver Platt) presence in the ED, Latham tells Halstead he will schedule the surgery if the psychiatrist clears the patient. After evaluating the patient, Charles finds no evidence that Monroe wants to stop using drugs.
Charles is rightfully concerned that if it is discovered Halstead is operating an unsanctioned safe injection facility, he will lose his medical licence and possibly go to prison.
Later, Halstead is called to Monroe’s room. Monroe is tachycardic in A-fib. Noting that the patient’s pressure is dropping, there is no need to push Cardizem. Halstead rests Monroe’s heart rhythm. Halstead is frustrated that he can’t get people to listen to him about his patient.
Shortly thereafter, we see Latham questioning an order for psych meds for Monroe. The order had been written by Halstead himself. Halstead tells the surgeon that Charles got called to an emergency and asked him to write the script for the patient. Latham’s perplexed facial expression suggests deep thought. He tells Halstead that he’ll let the OR know that Monroe will be heading up there immediately.
Discovering what Halstead has done, Charles confronts him about his recklessness. Halstead tells him that he already lost a patient he helped get hooked on opioids. He doesn’t want to lose another patient to the same thing. Charles believes that Halstead is allowing his involvement in the previous patient’s death to get way too personal.
Halstead apologises to Charles for his actions. Charles tells Halstead that he caught Monroe’s girlfriend trying to pass to her boyfriend illicit drugs. It’s a long road to becoming clean from drug usage. There are no shortcuts.
Later, at the unsanctioned safe injection site, Halstead tells the head nurse that he can’t do it anymore. The patient he saw earlier that day, the one he saved, came by to say thanks. She tells him that she’s going to try turning things around.
Lockwood asks Sexton to help Marcel when he arrives back at the hospital. He has two children that need immediate attention. Because of personal reasons, the nurse asked Lockwood if she would ask someone else to assist him. She is having difficulty thinking of not thinking about that kiss. Sexton kissed Marcel. It’s been playing on her mind. She should seriously get over it. It was a kiss.
ED Charge Nurse Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett) seems a tad grouchy as enters the department. It doesn’t escape Sharon Goodwin’s (S. Epatha Merkerson) attention that there is something off about Lockwood’s mood.
Questioning Lockwood’s mood, the nurse reveals that her oncologist told her that the radiation theory isn’t working as she would have hoped. They are going to need to add a course of hormone therapy. Goodwin understands Lockwood’s worries. Cancer treatments aren’t a walk in the park. Goodwin suggests Lockwood take the day off. Given how busy the day will be, that day off isn’t happening.
Noticing a familiar voice, Lockwood looks in on a patient and finds it’s Gary (). Lockwood knows Gary from the infusion centre. The charge nurse asks about his issues finding a bone marrow transplant match. Even though it took eight months, the hospital was able to find a match. That’s not why he’s in the hospital. He passed out. Because Gary is suffering from severe anaemia from his leukaemia, it’s giving him intermittent dysrhythmias.
Lockwood takes a moment to speak with Dr Amanda Reid (Annabel Armour) about Gary’s condition. Reid suggests trying to get the bone marrow donor to the hospital within the next hour.
Later, Lockwood catches up with Reid to ask her about the bone marrow donor. When the donor arrived at the hospital, it was discovered that she has the flu. She has a running temperature of 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though having the flu shouldn’t impact her ability to donate marrow, the cut-off temperature is 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reid can’t do the procedure until her temperature has decreased. Lockwood wants to know if the doctor will make an exception because it’s only half a degree difference. The doctor refuses.
Gary sees Lockwood enter his line of sight and calls her over. It’s a touching moment where they talk about the charge nurse’s boyfriend. Lockwood is still with Ben Campbell (Charles Malik Whitfield).
The patient talks about how this time in the hospital feels different. This could be the end for him. Lockwood asks Nurse Doris (Lorena Diaz) about Gary’s labs. With her revealing the labs are lower than when he arrived at the hospital, Lockwood gets the nurse to let her draw blood from her. What could the charge nurse be thinking?
The charge nurse, in the hope of finding a match for Gary, gets some of the staff to help. Goodwin doesn’t approve of what’s happening because all staff need to be doing their respective jobs. Seeing Lockwood needs help, some of the people in the waiting room volunteer to get tested. They find a match. Lockwood rushes to tell Gary that she found a match. It’s too late. Reid calls the time of death 17:36.
Later, we see Goodwin speaking with Lockwood. Goodwin heard about Gary. Lockwood apologies for making a difficult day worse. Goodwin has something to show Lockwood. All the people that agreed to get tested for a match to Gary were matches to other patients. Goodwin tells Lockwood that she saved a lot of lives.
Lockwood, having received a message notifying her of a school bus crash, directs Dr Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) and Dr Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) to hop on an ambulance and head over to the emergency scene.
When the ambulance arrives at the scene, we find Firehouse 51 personnel already tending to victims. As Manning and Marcel approach the crash site, Lieutenant Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) catches their attention. Two children are impaled with the same rebar steel. Marcel wants to save both children. He tells Manning if there is any chance of saving both children, he’s taking it. He doesn’t like the idea of losing anyone, especially a child.
Back at the hospital, with the first child from the crashed school bus arriving at the ED, Lockwood calls on Choi to handle the case. As Choi approaches the ED entrance, Paramedic Courtney (Courtney Rioux) wheels in 12-year-old Alice Winston (Saige Chaseley). She has shortness of breath and chest trauma. Alice’s parents, Mr (Jimmy Callahan) and Mrs Winston (Stephanie Wright Thompson), arrive shortly thereafter.
Later, we see Choi expressing concern about Alice. Even though her pain is under control, her breathing is getting worse. There isn’t anything abnormal about the patient’s labs. Choi asks the parents if Alice has suffered a fever recently. The doctor also asks if there is a history of asthma or pneumonia. When the doctor broaches his questions, both parents seem a tad uncertain about how to answer Choi. There is something about their body languages that suggests they are hiding something.
Breathing issues continue to be an issue for Alice. Choi sedates Alice so that he can incubate her. That’s the fastest incubation I’ve seen in a Chicago Med episode. It was skillfully done. When the mother asks why this is happening, Choi responds that he doesn’t know. The doctor orders a new round of tests.
Choi, after speaking with Alice’s father outside, discovers that his patient had been vaping. Both parents seem to think vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes. It’s possible Alice, having a relatively new condition related to e-cigarettes, might not be able to breathe on her own.
At the crash site, the children are cut free of the pinning rebar and transferred to a waiting ambulance. Manning is concerned that whatever it is Marcel is doing will not work as planned, but she hopes he’s right.
Dr James Lanik (Nate Santana) meets the doctors at the door as they arrive with the children. Lanik, the Chief of Trauma, notes it was a hell of a move bringing the children “in like a shish kebab.” Marcel tries to keep one of the children calm as he is lifted off the rebar steel. Lanik directs Marcel to scrub in because they have a lot of work ahead of them.
Elsewhere, we see Lockwood speaks with both sets of parents. Whilst Henry Chase (Justin Reed) is being evaluated in radiology, Kate Lawson (Peyton Wilson) is still in the operating room. When Theo (Desmond McIntyre) and Megan Lawson (Valerie Querns) discover their daughter is still in the OR, they are rightfully concerned. Paul (Church Lockett) and Sandra Chase (Caren Blackmore) are naturally supportive of their friends.
In the operating room, we find Marcel still operating on Kate. Lanik, in suggesting that it might be a waste of time operating on Kate, seems a tad cold-hearted. Kate isn’t the only one having issues. Elsewhere, Henry has developed a problem. Marcel tries to incubate Henry but finds resistance.
Later, Manning talks to Marcel about possible reconstruction surgery for Henry. Whilst Marcel wasn’t initially in favour of that option, at the last minute, he switches to reconstruction. Other surgeons in the room want to tie the artery off. If Marcel does that, it will mean less blood flow to the brain. It was the right move. Marcel completes the reconstruction surgery and it’s a success. It looks like both Henry and Kate will be fine.
As Marcel gets ready to head home, Manning takes a moment to speak to him about what was happening that morning. She wants to know what inspired his decision making. Marcel tells her no one should have to lose a child. The tone in his voice indicates he either lost his own child or operated on one that didn’t make it.
The episode closes with Marcel sitting at a bar alone with a glass of scotch in his hand.